Big news has emerged from the Audi offices this week, as their boss Marcus Deussman has announced a number of interesting insights into the future of Audi, including the possibility of an electric Audi R8.
He also made a headline breaking statement that, due to on-going mechanical advancements made by electric cars and a shift away from economically damaging engines, that the Audi A1, one of Audi’s best selling vehicles, could potentially be facing the axe.
Duessman entered Audi a year ago after previously managing BMW, and seeks to return Audi to the top of the pecking order when it comes to technological advancements in luxury vehicles. He is spearheading his own design team, who are currently focused around improving technological systems, in particular autonomous driving.
He actively voiced that he has been watching Tesla and their developments and attempting to learn from their engineering. He noted when asked if they will match Tesla’s advanced systems, “That’s the objective. Tesla has in some areas set standards for new technology. We observe them. But already with the e-Tron GT we have our interior quality and our dealer service.”
He also went on to further explain Audi’s shift away from traditional mechanical engineering to developing new standards and cutting back on old concepts such as Internal combustion engines.
He stated: “We make purpose-built EVs.” In other words, Audi won’t sell cars that have either engines or battery drive; they’ll be one or the other. “So certainly we’ll cut back on our ICE portfolio in the next 10 years.” This is where he revealed that the A1 could be axed revealing ““We do question the A1. We’re still discussing what we do for small cars. We’ll certainly offer the Q2.”
It was then that he claimed he liked the shape of the initial e-tron and the unique design and shape of the car that it allowed. Noting that the e-tron is in the building development line as the Audi R8 the question had to be asked, are we going to see an electric R8 for the third generation?
He simply stated “That wasn’t the original idea. But it could make sense. We could do it if we wanted to.” As we a see a seismic shift towards EV, it is almost inconceivable that Audi wouldn’t be considering this and by the sounds of it, they are mechanically capable of producing the vehicle and with Tesla’s dominance in this field, if they want to take it back, you have to assume this is in their plans.
The radical changes that Duessman has already been focused on combined with Audi’s desire to retake their place on the throne at the pinnacle of engineering, it’s highly expected that we’ll see a third generation electric Audi R8.